Six honey samples produced by the stingless bee Heterotrigona itama were analyzed for their plant sources, phenolic compositions, and antioxidant activities. The honey samples were acetolyzed and identified microscopically, and the phenolic compounds were identified by using HPLC-DAD. The antioxidant activities were evaluated using three different assays (FRAP, DPPH, and ABTS) by spectrophotometry. The melissopalynological analysis showed that 26 pollen types from 14 plant families were identified in the honey. Cocos nucifera and Rhizophora mucronata presented as predominant pollen. A total of 6 phenolic acids such as catechin, chlorogenic acid, epicatechin, protocatechuic acid, p-coumaric acid, and rutin were identified. Rhizophora mucronata honey possessed the highest antioxidant activity in all assays. The result showed the influence of plant sources on the phenolic compounds and the antioxidant properties of stingless bee honey. These findings could be significant contributions for the sustainability of stingless bee industry as well as to promote Malaysian stingless bee honey worldwide.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.